Weekend Wraps with one of the authors, Melissa LaBarre (the other author is Cecily Glowick McDonald was not available to chat with us but we love her work too!) returned to the YarnThing podcast with Marly Bird to bring us up to speed on what she’s working on.
Melissa learned to knit the basics while she worked in the mid-90’s while working in a Nursing Home as the activity coordinator. She wanted to learn more so she sought out books, and soon creating sweaters without patterns. Cecily told her she should be writing things down. Pam Allen purchased her first pattern for publication with Classic Elite and guided her through the process, and still does for Quince & Co now. Melissa LaBarre is a freelance knitwear designer and work-at-home mother. She is co-author of the books Weekend Hats (Interweave 2011), New England Knits (Interweave 2010), in 2012 leaving full-time work to be a Stay-at-Home-Mom and pursue more design work. Her designs have been published in Knitscene, Vogue Knitting, Twist Collective, as well as design collections for Quince and Co, Classic Elite, Valley Yarns, Blue Sky Alpacas, Brooklyn Tweed, among many others. Her third book, Weekend Wraps, which is her second co-author work with Cecily is her newest work to share with us.
Her design work has changed. It used to be that she created patterns, mostly sweaters, for women, occasionally for men. Now she’s creating designs for kids (which means that she the finished project is a garment AND a pattern) and shared that her four year-old is helpful at directing the process of her designs, but not really interested in wearing them. So most of her design time is spent on the younger one. She is currently creating a collection of women’s garments, too.
In 2008, while attending Rhinebeck with Cecily, it was suggested that they write a book. When they got home, Cecily e-mailed Melissa her book idea (Melissa says that was the sign that this was real) and that became New England Knits. They have also collaborated on Weekend Hats and Weekend Wrap has grown from that. For Weekend Wraps, they created a theme about color and put out a call for wraps, shawls, cowls and scarves using heavier yarns like worsted an up, so that the project could be completed in a weekend. They each contributed two designs, Melissa created the Getaway Poncho with it’s beautiful collar and Hikers Shawl which has a rustic texture both in the stitch pattern and the yarn. Cecily created two sweaters, The Wander Shrug and the Sailing Bolero which Melissa says could be knitted as a full length sweater easily. Other contributors include Angela Tong, Kate Gagnon Osborn, Thea Coleman, Bristol Ivy, Carrie Bostick Hoge and Tanis Gray.
Melissa says she and Cecily are very close (her daughter says she’s her best friend) and they will probably work up future books, just haven’t come up with a plan yet, so we have something to look forward to. It’s a mystery what it could be.
Melissa LaBarre can be followed through her website is: www.KnittingSchoolDropout.com, she can also be found on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. Weekend Wraps can be purchased through Amazon with Marly’s code. Marly alluded to an early YarnThing episode with Melissa, but it must have been one of those early lost episodes it’s not in the archives. We can’t wait to have her or Cecily come back.
If you missed getting to hear this live it is still available to hear as an archived episode at the link where it aired originally: https://www.blogtalkradio.com/yarnthing/2016/08/02/weekend-wraps-with-one-of-the-authors-melissa-labarre-rogers or in your favorite podcast catcher like iTunes or Stitcher Radio.